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August 11, 1991
I enjoyed Samuel G. Freedman's review of Stephen Fraser's "Labor Will Rule" (July 21), except for the first two paragraphs in which he seems anxious to portray present-day unions in a negative light. These opening remarks by a reviewer of great writing skills and stature in literary circles puts him in a class of thinkers who are, seemingly, eager to see the unions die and to write their obituary. It was my good fortune to have worked closely with union leaders in our Southern California urban megalopolis for 34 years--1937-1971--including the leaders of the Sidney Hillman Labor Center in Los Angeles.
February 9, 2003 | James Bates, Times Staff Writer
Directors of Hollywood's two main performers unions took their first major step Saturday toward meshing the two groups under a new umbrella labor organization that would represent actors, broadcasters and recording artists. In a nationwide videoconference meeting, the boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists approved a broad set of principles aimed at folding the two labor groups into a new 150,000-member union.
February 22, 2007
Re "State of the unions," Opinion, Feb. 17 Russell Roberts claims that cleaning people routinely earn $20 an hour. They must be the cleaning people who work in ivory towers. Roberts suggests that a better way to increase wages is to make workers more productive. When they become less productive because of age or injury, simply plug in a young guy. Perhaps distinguished scholar Roberts should take a sabbatical and get his fingernails dirty in a real job. FRANK PIMENTEL Rolling Hills Estates I am amazed that an educated person in this country would advocate for unions.
April 29, 2008 | David Zahniser
An alliance of public employee unions said Monday that they oppose a plan by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to impose six employee furloughs, or unpaid days off. The Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which represents about 22,000 workers, said it does not believe Villaraigosa has the legal authority to force workers to take six furlough days during the 2008-09 fiscal year. Deputy Mayor Sean Clegg said Villaraigosa already has a legal opinion from City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo stating that he can impose "short-term layoffs" on city workers.
August 17, 2005
Re "Prop. 75 Could Weaken Clout of Unions," Aug. 14 In a special election full of divisive propositions, Proposition 75 may be the most divisive of all. I can't quite get my head around why wealthy Republican Joe Schmo, who doesn't even know a union laborer, much less a nonunion Democrat like me, has any business deciding how labor unions spend their dues. It seems to me that this issue should be decided by union members and not the general voting public, especially when millions of special interest dollars are being poured into slick advertising campaigns to influence the outcome.
November 2, 2013 | By Jason Wells
Bay Area Rapid Transit's two largest unions this week ratified the new labor agreements that ended a four-day regional rail strike in October. In a statement posted on BART's website Saturday, officials said the new four-year agreements would address the growing cost of employee benefits while allowing the agency to modernize an aging infrastructure. “The Bay Area and our riders will benefit from these contracts because BART will be able to move forward with the replacement of our aging fleet of train cars and the needed upgrades to meet demand,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement.
September 2, 2010 | By Robyn Dixon and Kylé Pienaar, Los Angeles Times
A strike by 1.3 million South African public servants threatened Thursday to drag on for a third week as unions signaled that they would reject the government's latest compromise offer, a wage hike that would be more than double the rate of inflation. Zwelinzima Vavi, secretary-general of the main trade union federation, COSATU, said his organization had rejected the offer but that talks continued. Unions representing nurses, health and education workers, and police also said they would reject the offer, and other unions said they would follow suit in the coming days.
Labor unions representing workers at McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics said Monday that they have formed a committee to block McDonnell's proposed sale of a 40% stake in its commercial aircraft business to a Taiwanese group for $2 billion.
May 27, 2006
Re "The end of 'more,' " Opinion, May 22 I'm happy to find that former Sen. George McGovern is still thinking clearly. He expresses dismay at the union leaders continuing the John L. Lewis philosophy of always wanting "more." I agree with his contention that in this new competitive environment, union leaders, particularly in the automotive and airline industries, need to back off and work with company executives and remain competitive. The only alternative is to go out of business.
January 31, 2009
Re "Power in the union," Opinion, Jan. 26 Robert B. Reich writes of unions as potential saviors for our current economic downturn. At 64, I am old enough to remember growing up in Fairless Hills, Penn., a town constructed by U.S. Steel in the early 1950s to house workers for a new steel plant near Philadelphia. The Steelworkers Union then obtained great benefits for its members. A menial job at "the mill" for a high school graduate paid double what my father, a high school teacher, earned.
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